Emergency Management director encourages development of plan

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Leavenworth County Emergency Management Director Chuck Magaha participates in a statewide tornado drill in 2020. This month is recognized as National Preparedness Month.

Chuck Magaha said families should have a plan in case of emergencies.

Magaha, the director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management, said developing a plan is a focus of National Preparedness Month, which is this month.

The theme for this year's National Preparedness Month is "Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love."

"We're really focusing on family preparedness," Magaha said.

In any major disaster, people may be forced to leave their homes, or they may be stuck in their homes for an extended period of time, he said.

Magaha recommends preparing kits with items people may need in such disasters.

"Don't wait until the event happens," he said.

He said the kit should include non-perishable food, medications and water.

Magaha said people should have at least one gallon of water on hand for each person in their household per day. He said people should have enough supplies on hand for three days.

He also recommends including a small first aid kit as well as a small number of tools.

Magaha said a person should think about items that would be needed for each member of the family including pets.

"Think about what's important to you," he said.

Magaha recommends packing a game or some other activity to help keep children occupied in case they are without electricity and internet access for an extended period of time.

He said there are other things people can do to prepare for possible emergencies including establishing out-of-area contacts.

An out-of-area contact is a person who serves as a point of contact for people who are wanting to check on a loved one.

When a disaster strikes the Leavenworth area, local residents can contact their out-of-area contacts to report they are OK. Relatives and other loved ones then can check with the out-of-area contacts to find out how the local residents are doing.

For more tips about preparing for emergencies, people can visit the www.ready.gov website, which is maintained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. People also can visit the preparemetrokc.org website, which is maintained by the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee.

"Or they can contact our office," Magaha said.

Leavenworth County Emergency Management can be reached at 913-684-0455.

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